England is a country steeped in history and tradition. This is especially apparent in the first month of autumn when the inky blanket of night draws in ever earlier, and fires regularly dance in hearths across the land. September is a time to gather with friends and share tales from the summer gone by, to snuggle into layers of plush woollen knitwear, and to enjoy the youthful delight of crisp golden leaves crunching underfoot.
Few would argue that September is the best month in England. Curl up with your first hot chocolate of the season, heaven with swirls of cream and fluffy pink marshmallows, and come with us on a journey through the top reasons to visit England in September.
September is an excellent time to visit England. This month falls into the shoulder seasons, meaning most places are quieter than the months before, during the sunny crush of peak-season summer. Whether stepping back in time in one of England’s grand stately homes or hitting the trails in one of the country’s 10 National Parks, you’ll have more personal space to enjoy it all.
To truly experience all of England in just one month, there is no better time to visit than in September. A month that starts with evening walks through lush green woodland dappled by the sun’s warmth ends with nights longer than days and a chill in the air that brings out a swaddling of extra layers.
Early September often feels very much like summer, you can expect at least a few days of soft, hazy warmth. A gradual change creeps in though, and by the end of the month, Nature is showcasing her finest artwork with bursts of warm jewel tones across the trees and the wind whipping up magical flurries of crisp leaves.
The end of September also brings the Autumn Equinox. This is one of just two moments every year when day and night are of equal length before the sun dips below the horizon and the northern hemisphere experiences six months of longer nights than days. This heralds the official first day of autumn, but the longer nights also present the perfect opportunity for stargazing. After a busy day discovering a new city or conquering a new trail, embrace your childhood dreams and play at explorer. Pack a few blankets and a big flask of hot chocolate (add some cinnamon and vanilla, or even chilli flakes, for a warming kick), pop on an extra pair of socks and head outside on a clear night to spot iconic constellations dancing above you.
England is famous for its weather – and the British ability to discuss that weather! To experience the country looking its best, September is a beautiful time to visit England.
With an average maximum temperature of 18°C/64°F and a minimum of 10°C/50°F, September is the perfect month to visit England if you are looking to get out and about explore the country. With an average of just ten days of rainfall, this is an ideal time to get out hiking as the country is neither too cold nor wet. The Peak District, New Forest and Cotswolds offer some of the best walks to enjoy the turning of the seasons as autumn colours set the countryside ablaze.
As the weather cools, the iconic English pub enters its element; British cuisine is perfect for the cooler weather. Take the time to enjoy mountains of mashed potato, sizzling local sausages and plenty of creamy cheese while sitting by a roaring wood fire. Pub food is hearty and warming, offering an excellent opportunity to sample a local ale or two.
Nature also produces some excellent treats to look out for at this time of year. Look out for events on Apple Day, an annual celebration of apples and orchards, which often falls in September. Wrap up warm and enjoy honouring this crisp, sweet fruit. Out hiking, see if you can spot juicy blackberries or plump sloe berries in the hedgerow. If you go foraging, remember to do so responsibly, leaving plenty behind and only doing so if you are sure of what you’re picking.
Back indoors, put leftover apples to good use and warm your fingers around a steaming mug of hot apple juice or mulled cider. Warming spices also bring classic English desserts to life. No visit in September would be complete without the crunch of gingerbread or a bowl of sticky toffee pudding, topped off with thick Devonshire custard.
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Summer might be the season you think of for festivals. Yet, the longer nights of September also bring people together in companionship against the looming promise of the colder months to come. There are plenty of events to enjoy across England in September, from celebrating the harvest to one of the oldest fairs in the world.
English thanksgiving for the harvest, as you can enjoy it today, started in the 1800s, but the tradition of celebrating the harvest is much older. There are harvest festivals across England towards the end of September, allowing immersion into an iconic pillar of English culture. Some of our favourites are at Canons Ashby, a National Trust property in Northamptonshire, and the Harvest Festival at Daylesford Organic, nestled on the northern edge of the Cotswolds.
For a slightly different experience, don’t miss the Egremont Crab Fair. Egremont, a small town in Cumbria, is less than 3 miles from St Bees, the start point for Wainwright’s iconic Coast to Coast trail. The fair is believed to have been established in 1257, making it one of the oldest fairs in the world. This annual event is an unusual combination of traditional meets modern, and the Gurning World Championship is not to be missed; a competition to pull the ugliest face!